The Benefits Of Coworking: How Where You Work Affects Your Success As A Freelancer

Post Author: jeannine.

Working freelance has a huge number of advantages: a work/life balance many would kill for, the freedom to choose exactly how you want to work, the luxury of being able to dictate your own prices, pay rises and bonuses, and the opportunity to get to the post office / bank / gym when everyone else is at work. One of the other plus-sides is the freedom to work in your pajamas all day if you want to, or indeed not get out of bed at all.

Although this sounds like heaven to those of us stuck in grey cubicles all day, forced to listen to Rhonda from HR’s gossip about Tim in Accounting while avoiding leery Jeremy from Marketing, large numbers of freelancers report feelings of loneliness and isolation when working alone from home, which often undermines all of the advantages for which they chose to go freelance in the first place. But there is an alternative option open to freelancers who can’t bear their own company any longer and are desperate for someone, anyone (other than the cat) to talk to, collaborate with or simply be around during their working day and that option is coworking.

So what are the advantages of coworking?

1. In a coworking space you are never alone

So the first and most obvious advantage of coworking is that you are never alone. You are surrounded by other like-minded freelancers who are looking for a little bit of company in their otherwise solitary working lives. You will find that if you join a coworking space you are not just signing up for a desk in a room, you become part of a community, with many coworking spaces hosting parties, social events and after work drinks. Also, if you were dying to get away from an office environment when you went freelance, you will probably notice how different your coworking space is from an office. You come and go as you please, everyone is generally polite and respectful (they are freelancers too, remember) and with no manager or boss looking over your shoulder, your productivity will soar

2. You don’t have to worry about your facilities

When you work for yourself you have to, always, have a stable internet connection. Without one you will lose jobs and clients very quickly. You will also need coffee. Once you are part of a coworking space you no longer need to worry about these two essentials, you will be connected from the moment you walk in the door to both internet and coffee before you’ve even said hello. In a coworking space you’ll also have a decent chair, with back-support, a nice desk and perhaps even a window! Although you might have hated your office environment in your permanent job, you’ll certainly appreciate some decent furniture when you’ve spent months sat with your computer on your lap on the sofa and your back is about ready to snap.

3. You’ll find more work

When you’ve spent all day on the sofa with the cat the number of potential clients you will have interacted with is precisely zero (unless Fluffy happens to be looking for a web developer!). However, plant yourself in a coworking space and you’ll be instantly surrounded by other freelancers who could potentially offer you work themselves, or pass work that they can’t do onto you. Coworking is excellent for networking and therefore excellent for your career. If you’re a web developer you’ll meet entrepreneurs who need programming skills, if you’re a UX designer you’ll soon be propositioned by developers, and so on. On the other side of the coin, if you need someone to do a job for you, you probably won’t even have to advertise! If there isn’t someone in your coworking space who’s qualified you’ll bet there’s someone there who knows someone who is!


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Are you interested in coworking? Then CareerFoundry’s Code & Surf Retreat could be the thing for you! Residing at a beach-side coworking resort in Santa Cruz students will learn Web Development or UX Design with in-house mentors in the mornings, while afternoons will be spent learning to surf, hiking and practicing yoga on the beach. To be in with a chance of winning, check out the site here: Code & Surf Retreat



Country Profile: Coworking in Kazakhstan

Note:  This blogpost was written by Faraz Majidulla, of  Astana Multispace, as part of an informal series to introduce us to Coworking spaces and how they function all over the world.  So let’s start the series off with a little bling bling from Kazakhstan.  

Thanks, Faraz!  


Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in world based on land mass but only boasts a population of about 18 million people.  Astana is the newly formed capital city and it hosts some of the world’s best new age architecture, from the Norman Foster designed tent shaped shopping center, Khan Statyr, to the multiple new skyscrapers scattered around the city.  One of the most fascinating sites in the city is the Batirek monument, which towers over the city and from the top gives you the best view of Astana.   Kazakhstan is most famous for being an oil rich country but it also has abundance of other natural resources like: gas, gold, copper, uranium, which has given it the opportunity to attract investors from all over the world.

Coworking is a relatively new concept in Kazakhstan and most people are yet to grasp it.  With Astana Multispace being the first real coworking in Kazakhstan we have been entrusted with not only providing world class services that coworking members around the world are accustom to but also with educating the public on how coworking can help them.

Astana Multispace is situated on the top floor of Astana Mall, one of the most popular and unique malls’ in Astana.  The mall has previously hosted many concerts featuring some of the region’s most famous talents.  It has also hosted other great events like drift racing competitions in the underground parking lot and MMA fights in the middle of the mall.  All of these things have helped make Astana Mall one of the destination spots in the Astana.  In recent months however the trend has changed as most people are visiting the mall for more business oriented events that are generally hosted in Multispace.  On a daily basis there are hundreds of people coming for seminars or conferences hosted by the likes of big financial institutions, the national railway company, big oil companies, and big media institutions.

Multispace is considered to be the ‘third place’ filled with eager entrepreneurs, creative designers, and inquisitive journalists.   The sensible design gives it unique ambience that makes it comfortable whether you want to work or relax.  Our design is often compared to Google Office designs.  There are a host of different types of workstations available, individually themed private meeting rooms, a large conference room, a library, an amphitheatre, individually themed private offices, a cigar lounge, a coffee shop and relaxation area.  In addition to this there is a reception area that offers a concierge services.  In Multispace we focus on giving our coworkers the right ‘props’ and best possible conditions to achieve their goals.  This includes high-quality eco-friendly furniture, proper lighting, and the ability to relax in the special twilight recreation room, this is all so that people can work more productively. Our main task is to give young entrepreneurs a new lifestyle.

The future of coworking in Kazakhstan looks very bright as more and more people are choosing this concept opposed to the traditional office.  Most of our coworkers claim that it would be near impossible to switch back to the old ways and see this as the better alternative.   The reason for this is mostly the social aspect that has been injected into their work life making them more open to new ideas and productive.

Coworking in Medellin Colombia

Post Author: Eddie Arrieta.

Without a doubt Medellin is one of the most important and recognized cities in Latin-america. It is evident that the difficult that came as a result of the growth and consolidation of Narco-traffic in Colombia have made many decide to leave. Fortunately, this panorama has changed in the last 10 years. Government and private institutions have made an effort to make of Medellín the next innovation center of Latin-America

The support given by government institutions such as Ruta N and iNNpulsa have helped entrepreneurs in the city. Likewise, there are local initiatives such Coffeegrid, which gives a plataform for discussion in topics such as innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. These spaces have provided young entrepreneurs a plce to do networking. Johanna Molina Co-Founder of Intern Latin America expresses that ¨Medellín City is more attractive than ever before¨. and she is not the only one ¨I can see how a digital initiative can grow in an environment like this¨ says Jesse Hopps CEO of Demand Metric.

Evidently, Medellin needs more than just one tool or institution to become a hub of entrepreneurial suggest. The ecosysten in Medellin, similar to others in Latin america, requires a different mindset. Such mentality should favor the entrepreneurial culture. This is why public and private organization in Medellin have become so crucial to the environment. Clearly, every actor involved in entrepreneurship has responsibility in this process and a role to play in the ecosystem.

Conrad Egusa and I have tried finding different ways to support entrepreneurship in Medellín. This is the reason why we founded  ESPACIO. This initiative started in October of 2012 in the heart of Parque Lleras an affluent area of this city. ESPACIO has partnered with: .CO INTERNET, the Founder Institute and Ruta N. Our goal is to cultivate and ecosystem of entrepreneurship, collaboration and networking in Medellin. We facilitate to entrepreneurs such as Ana Corena, founder of eSe Conectivo, the possibility of growing in a well located office, getting advice from mentors and co-workers and launching her startup successfully.

¨Co-Working¨ is a concept that goes beyond working at the same office. Co-Working, as well as startup life is way of living. For members of a Co-Working space it is almost required to collaborate. In fact entrepreneurs such as Giovanny Gomez Founder of GTEKSYS, sharing their ideas and supporting other entrepreneurs has become a common practice.

It evident that there is a lot of work to be done before Medellin can compete with the largest entrepreneurial centers of the world. However, the hard work of leaders and entrepreneurs in the city will continue transforming it into an innovation center. Every entrepreneur still needs to grow and to learn, but the tools they have available will help them get there. Medellin will certainly depend on the success of these entrepreneurs and their ideas. As Stacy Blackman President of Stacy Blackman Consulting mentioned ¨A profession needs to know where he is going. Never playing with ideas, but implementing them.¨

Eddie Arrieta is the Co-Founder, ESPACIO and tuCaribe. ESPACIO is the first Co-Working space in Medellin, Colombia. tuCaribe is the first tour operator in the Golfo de Morrosquillo, Colombia.

The first European Jelly week is ready to start

Hub Vilnius joined over 30 other coworking centers from across Europe for the first coworking Jelly week. Come to Hub Vilnius on the 21st of January for Jelly there.

Jellies are occasional meetings at which a small group of people come together to collaborate in an informal atmosphere. Unlike coworking spaces, no membership is required, they cost nothing and take place in a variety of locations. They offer the opportunity to exchange ideas, with no commitments or costs. And at the same time, they allow a community to build that can eventually lead to the development of an institution like a coworking space. With these two benefits in mind, Anni Roolf, a communication designer from Wuppertal, has organized the first European Jelly Week. It will take place from January 17 to 23 in many cities across Europe.

First Jelly in Hub Vilnius, November 2010

Jelly coworking by Mokolabs
Jelly coworking in San Diego by Mokolabs

The name “jelly” was chosen by a group in New York in 2006, taking inspiration from jelly beans. In the end it is simply a fun name, one which is yet to surface in Wikipedia. “These meetings are probably too unstructured and not organized enough for it. Many meetings in spontaneous locations could qualify as a jelly. But even so, somebody could have written an article about it on Wikipedia. The concept has existed now for five years, after all,” Anni said.

Jelly at PAX Coworking Japan

“The coworking movement also existed before it had a name. Many people discovered the concept for themselves, without having to describe it in one word. However using a known label can allow people to better grasp the concept and help it to achieve greater awareness.”

As well as the first Jelly Week, Anni has also initiated the development of the first coworking space in her home town. Jelly meetings can act as a temporary coworking meeting, even if no fixed premises have yet been found. It also helps spread the coworking movement to new places.

The idea grew out of the Coworking Europe conference in Brussels at the end of 2010. Anni wanted to find a way to carry on the productive spirit of the conference, and to demonstrate “how fast things can be created, with few resources but many legs.”

Another reason is to help spread the word about the coworking movment and foster a pan-European dimension to encourage international exchanges and attract more media attention.

How each Jelly looks and functions is entirely up to the creativity and knowledge of each individual organiser. “We only create the basis, and it is up to the people to visualize what they can make from it.” For herself, Anni hopes to develop the initiative for a coworking space in Wuppertal, and to network with people in other locations.

So far, 30 organizations from 14 countries have signed up to host meetings, many of them coworking spaces. A central site will help all participating jelly meetings communicate with each other, as well as a Twitter wall using the hashtag #jellyweek. Jelly Week offers a good opportunity for the strengthening of the European coworking community. To participate, simply contact Anni.

Here is the map of coworking Jelly week:

Japanese coworkers has joined it as well:


Coworking Gifts For Your Smartphone (and You!)

The collective creativeness that is the coworking community has been hard at work creating a few apps that can enrich your experience!

Giant Smart Phone

‘Tis the season to indulge in gadgets, and for those of you that depend on a smartphone to get you through the day, that means treating yourself to an app or two.

How fortunate that the collective creativeness that is the coworking community has already been hard at work creating a few apps that can enrich your experience!

Coworking for iPhone – by @parisoma

Cost: FREE

Want to keep coworking while you’re away from home, but don’t have the time to research available spaces? Now, there’s an app for that.

The “Coworking” app- made for coworkers, by coworkers, in a coworking space- is now available in the iTunes store.

The app is designed to:
1. Be a mobile database of over 400 coworking spaces worldwide
2. Allow people to find coworking spaces in their city or in cities they visit
3. Help coworking spaces find new members

This app was designed by coworkers at pariSoma Innovation Loft in the San Francisco Bay area. If you download this app, the folks at pariSoma would love to hear your feedback! Send suggestions about how to improve the app or ideas about other potentials for it to coworkingapp [at]

Coworking Lite For AndroidCoworking for Android – by App Hoshies

Cost: $1.95 for full version, Lite version is FREE

“Coworking” is a social location-based app that is all about finding and sharing Coworking locations (download here).

This app is designed to:
1. Create new locations
2. Find other coworkers in your area
3. Follow where others are currently working.

The app comes with hundreds of worldwide locations. The Lite version comes with ads but has no limitations.

And if you really want to turn your smartphone into a powerful coworking machine, check out this long list of mobile apps for entrepreneurs!

Image Credit Top: Flickr – @boetter

Thinking Outside-the-Office at CAMP Coworking in Omaha, Nebraska

Sunny, light-hearted, open, bright.

These are the adjectives that come to mind when coworking in Omaha’s newest collaborative workspace, CAMP Omaha.

Snuggled secretively inside a former furniture warehouse that’s getting a creative make-over, CAMP has the feel of a 1950′s elementary classroom gone horribly right.

Gone are the intrusive fluorescent lights and clumsy chalkboard. In their place are giant windows, spacious desks, comfy couches, and a map of America so giant it’ll make you want to want to play Twister all over the Midwest.

In its own words, “CAMP is a dream realized through creative friends, late night pancake runs, Double Dead Guys, supportive parents, great friendships and a passion to give back to Omaha.” Translation: if you’re into private offices and library-like workspaces, don’t bother going to CAMP.

BUT! If you like comparing musical playlists, longboarding to the bathroom, and pulling all-nighters with freelance fashion designers,  software programmers, writers, and photographers…CAMP has a bunk with your name on it.

Wanna learn more? Follow @CAMPomaha on Twitter or join their page on Facebook. If you’re passing through Nebraska, be sure to stop in and say hi to Megan and the whole CAMP gang.  (And be on the lookout for the wandering mannequin!).

Click here for more pics of the CAMP Omaha coworking space.

@GoneCoworking is the adventure of Beth and Eric, two crazy kids traveling the country to find out whether it’s really possible to be a location independent freelancer! The coworking community provides a unique opportunity for traveling telecommuters/freelancers/business owners to have a professional workspace and remain connected with their peers while away from home. Here’s an inside look at some of the coworking people and spaces we’ve met along the way!

Getting Busy at Impromtpu Studio in Des Moines, Iowa

Driving through Iowa on our way to Des Moines revealed exactly what you might expect about a midwestern state: corn, tractors, wind farms, and more corn. But nestled inconspicuously in a warehouse just outside the downtown area is a hothouse for creativity and technical innovation called Impromptu Studio.

As Iowa’s first home for coworking, Impromptu is proud to have inspired others with the spirit of coworking and led the way in igniting growth in Iowa’s technology scene.

The mix of coworkers that call this comfortable space home is eclectic and refreshing. From artists and writers, to developers and remote workers, many different types of people have come to depend on the community and collaborative potential of Impromptu Studio.

Chatting with @catrocketship, it was easy to see that a common coworking problem affected the professionals in this space as well: the inability to avoid coming up with new projects, business ideas, and website themes on a daily basis. Coworkers are constantly inventing and creating, a process that is effortless when working an elbow’s length away from likeminded people.

The other half of this delightful spacecrew, @scottrocketship, was clearly passionate about what coworking can do for the still-developing cultural and technological scene in Iowa. Striving to push the envelope, whether it be throwing rockin’ parties or offering the only voice of criticism in room full of yes-men, it’s creative thinkers like Scott that will continue to reinvent coworking into something even better.

@DanielShipton is the space’s founder, and dedicated advocate of the coworking lifestyle. CEO of @BitMethod a company that has quickly grown to support five employees, Daniel refuses to retreat to private office space. Instead, his company proudly inhabits the upper section of the loft space, happily brainstorming and inventing out in the open at a long conference table.

In the future, Daniel sees coworking as a recruiting tool for technology companies like BitMethod. Companies that contract out their work to freelancers can offer a cafe-like space on the company grounds as a way to take the “remote” out of remote worker. Morale and productivity go up, while the company is able to keep wasted space and resources down. And the company will have a built-in pool of awesome people to pick from when it’s time to expand.

If you’re ever passing through Iowa, I highly recommend stopping into say hi to the coworkers at Impromptu. Even if it’s just for an afternoon Mario Kart tournament.

Follow them on Twitter: @ImpromptuStudio

Join them on

Four Questions With Gerard Sychay of Cincinnati Coworks

Author: @GoneCoworking is the adventure of Beth and Eric, two crazy kids traveling the country to prove that it really is possible to be a location independent freelancer! The coworking community provides a unique opportunity for traveling telecommuters/freelancers/business owners to have a professional workspace and remain connected with their peers while away from home. Here’s an inside look at some of the coworking people and spaces we’ve met along the way!

Chatting with Gerard of Cincinnati Coworks

GC: How were you first introduced to the concept of coworking?

Gerard: Honestly, I don’t remember at this point. I knew about coworking for the longest time, but I mistakenly defined it as rented office space. When I had the glimmer of a wink of a thought about opening one I started digging deeper and realized that coworking was very different from office suites.

GC: What are the benefits/challenges of coworking?

Gerard: I like to tell people that coworking offers self-employed workers all the benefits of working in an office, and none of the bad stuff. That is, you get to chat with colleagues, go to lunch with them, but nobody answers to anyone, so there is no boss, no politics.

The primary challenge with coworking is really the working environment. Working in an open space, next to one another, is not for everyone. Working in a dusty loft, with second-hand furniture is not for everyone.

GC: What sets Cincy Coworks apart from other facilities a traveling freelancer might visit?

Gerard: If you are a freelancer and work in Cincy Coworks you will be working right next to someone who is at least somewhat like-minded. Our current space is too small to avoid this.

There are plenty of office suites in town. Even better, market rates are so low right now, that you could get your own office for cheap. But you won’t talk to anyone and you will work alone. And if you work alone, why not just stay working at home?

GC: I love how part of your slogan is “not just for working.” What other benefits does coworking provide for entrepreneurs/freelancers that an office suite can’t?

Gerard: In addition to the benefits above, we are located in an up-and-coming neighborhood with a coffeeshop, an Asian restaurant, an organic market and deli, all within a couple blocks.

We’d like to hold more evening and weekend events and encourage our members to hold events, but this is a work in progress.

Check out this cool video for a sneak pick into life at Cincy Coworks!

If you’re in the Cincinnati area, and are looking for a place to cowork, you’ll be please to know that Cincy Coworks is a proud member of the Coworking Visa program, and are happy to welcome drop in visitors any time they’re open. Follow @cincycoworks on Twitter, or head over to to learn more!

On coworking sustainability, urban workstyles and business model.

I’d like to share these views on coworking, with this presentation to be held in Florence, Italy, on Oct. 15th @Festival della Creatività.

Cowo® is the network of 21 spaces (and counting!) that is spreading around in the country since February 2009.

In particular, what I’d like to discuss is the “business sustainable” model we are trying to leverage, keeping break-even point to zero by exploiting existing spaces.

In other words, we are working on the consideration that opening cw spaces inside existing offices and keeping it very basic is a 100% revenue activity.

Thank you in advance for your attention and comments!

[slideshare id=2197582&doc=cowocarraro-091012081736-phpapp02]

What does coworking do for me. A video interview from Italy.

After a few months of activity @ cowo milano, I finally managed to do something I’ve been trying to do for a long time: a video interview with a coworker, having him say what it’s like.

As I imagined, there’s nothing like the real thing… Davide tells the story in a way that couldn’be done better.

I don’t post the video because it’s in Italian (if you want to see it it’s here) but I do post the English transcription:

Question – Hi Davide! First of all, what’s your job?

Answer – Hi. I design sailing boats, racing ones.

Q. – Great. What’s your organization?

A. – We are a small company with two offices, one here in Milano, since April, and the other one in Amsterdam, where my partner is.

Q. – How does coworking work for you?

A. – It gives me the chance to have a very flexible work situation, fully serviced.
A place where I can work quietly. always connected to the web and also connected to other people.

Q. – In this respect, how did it feel for you to work side by side with professionals with a different background?

A. – Very interesting. Up to now I’ve always worked with other engineers, and it always ended up talking about the same stuff, which can get boring.
In a coworking situation one gets the chance to interact with people totally different. It’s fun to share your office with a novel writer, or an internet pro… different worlds, very interesting.

Q. – Is such a company making your working days more interesting, or would you rather sit in your own, private office?

A. – No, I’m very happy, actually. I think that for a small start-up it’s a good opportunity to have a coworking space, a less flexible situation would not have been good for me.
Coworking gave me the flexibility I need, also the freedom to renew my staying month by month, adapting to my needs, eventually involving other people in the company, in the cowo premises.
Such a flexibility isn’t easy to find, other than coworking.

Q. – As to interaction with your business partner, in Amsterdam?

A. – We work with Skype, always in touch, with earphones, triyng not to disturb other people here.

Q. – We haven’t mentioned your company’s name…

A. – It’s ST Yachts, in the internet: styachtdotcom.

Thanks a lot Davide!